When people think of banks, money is often the first thing that comes to mind. But at Arundel Federal Savings Bank, employees do much more than handle money. They serve meals to the hungry, collect toys for children whose parents have limited incomes, educate adults about fraud, and start youth on a lifelong path to financial literacy.
FEEDING THE HUNGRY
Once a month, a team of four to five Arundel Federal volunteers participates in the Feeding the Hungry program at Harundale Presbyterian Church in Glen Burnie. The program, which serves approximately 5,400 meals per year, welcomes anyone in need.
“You’re clearing tables, peeling potatoes, setting a table and greeting people,” said Jeanne Slaughter, marketing manager with Arundel Federal Savings Bank. “We do so many other volunteer activities, but this is personal. We put a smile on their faces and they put a smile on our faces.”
HOLIDAY TOY DRIVES
Christmas is a time when children often smile, but not if they don’t receive any gifts. Each branch of Arundel Federal Savings Bank collects presents for a charity of its choice during the holidays. The Lake Shore branch partners with A Child’s Christmas, which is organized by the Pasadena Business Association. In Severna Park, bank employees collect for SPAN (Serving People Across Neighborhoods). Several branches give to Toys for Tots.
BRINGING KIDS INTO THE FUTURE
Even though they are too young to be customers at Arundel Federal, kids are the biggest beneficiaries of the bank’s charitable work.
Bank representatives invite children from local schools to tour one of the six branches, giving them a sneak peek at the vault and safe deposit boxes while teaching them the importance of saving money at a young age. All visitors receive a backpack full of goodies, including a $5 savings account opening voucher.
Arundel Federal also provides two workbooks to schools, one for elementary students and one for teens. Currently, Freetown Elementary in Glen Burnie and Maree G. Farring Elementary School in Brooklyn both take advantage of that service.
“Parents talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol, and this needs to be as important,” said Lisa Hart, business community development leader who has been with Arundel Federal Savings Bank for 43 years.
Each Arundel Federal branch gets a budget to spend on community service projects, and most branch managers spend the majority of funds on education.
In Pasadena, Arundel Federal has supported the students versus teachers basketball game to raise money for Chromebooks, the Lake Shore-Severna Park Rotary’s effort to give third-graders in Pasadena, Severna Park and Arnold a dictionary, and a wellness event hosted by the Northeast High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC program.
At nearby Severna Park High School, Arundel Federal gives financial literacy presentations to kids in 11th grade to show the importance of a budget and how to save.
CHIP IN FOR THE ARTS
Much of Arundel Federal’s outreach is focused on Brooklyn Park, which is home to its first branch and to the Chesapeake Arts Center. Tom Herpel not only serves as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Arundel Federal but he is also the treasurer on the CAC board of directors. Seeing a need for the center to raise more money for after-school programs, he started a partnership between the bank and the CAC.
“He thought our efforts could help because the center focuses on family and children, and Arundel Federal is a big supporter of family and children,” Slaughter said.
For its second year, Arundel Federal hosted CAC’s annual Chip in for the Arts golf fundraiser tournament at Compass Pointe Golf Courses on April 17 with the support of 93 players and more than 50 sponsors from Anne Arundel County and beyond.
In its first year, the tournament raised $17,000. Totals are still being tallied for the 2019 event.
Proceeds will extend educational outreach programs and provide bussing to students who otherwise would not be able to participate.
“It’s great for the kids to have a place to learn, expand and get into the arts,” Hart said.
Hart gives talks to help people prevent personal and business fraud. Audiences come to community and senior centers, homeowners association meetings, and other events.
“What can people do to avoid and spot fraud? We tell them how to check their credit report, we show them the free resources that are out there,” Hart said.
Slaughter added, “We just want people to be aware and alert so they can prevent it. We always have such an engaged crowd. They have good questions and stories of something that has happened to them or someone they know.”
CEMENTING A PLACE IN THE COMMUNITY
Arundel Federal is involved in many other charitable projects: providing free school folders to students; supporting March of Dimes and March for Babies; collecting food for local organizations and pantries; and hosting Shred Fest, a free community-wide event for customers and non-customers alike to guard against identity theft and cyber security-related crimes.
“I believe we have been servants of the community, but I feel like we’re even bigger servants of the community when we’re out beyond these walls personally helping people,” Hart said.